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Old 12-26-2019, 10:37 PM   #1
M16
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Default School me on Skid Steers

I've always been a tractor guy but need a new toy. I'm leaning towards a skid steer. What are the brands to stay away from? If you don't get a mulcher do you need a hi flow machine. I'm still undecided if I really need a mulcher. If not I would get a heavy duty shredder brush wacker. What about horsepower? I've got a couple of thousand acres to play around on. Mainly to be used patching roads and doing brush control along the roads. What are the attachments that you can't live without? Would you buy new or slightly used? Budget is going to be around 100K.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:47 PM   #2
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I really like late model Cat skid steers and compact track loaders. With that budget get one with a sealed cab that has A/C and heat. Hi flow is an option that I would definitely get.

I haven’t looked at JCB skid steers lately, but their side entry cabs and single arm loaders are quite an ingenious design. Haven’t read the reviews on them yet, nor examined them in person yet. They look to be much easier to get in and out of. Dunno about parts and service. I do like and have used JCB telehandlers extensively. They’re great!

Have used New Holland skid steers and track loaders quite a bit. They were cheaper in price than John Deere and Cat. I dont really like (NH) their controls or design. But they do get the job done nonetheless. Just not my favorite brand of machines to operate. Would like to get some seat time with Takeuchi skid steers, track loaders, and track hoes (Excavators).

Last edited by Worksalot; 12-26-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:49 PM   #3
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I donít know much about them, but if I were contemplating a purchase I think I would rent several different ones and then make that decision. Everyone that has one is gonna say their choice is the best !
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:49 PM   #4
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You can find a couple mulching heads that will work for the 75hp machines, but mostly they’re for 90+ HP machine. I’d say go with high flow hydraulics. It’s like 4wd. You don’t ever regret having it, but you’ll sometimes regret not having it. Air ride seat and air conditioned cab is worth it, and is an absolute must if you want to run a mulcher or rotary head.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:50 PM   #5
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Kubota svl95-2. Full cab track machine
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:51 PM   #6
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I like kubotas the best of the ones i have used. I think their door is the best design i have seen. I have not used one of the JCBs mentioned above, sounds interesting though
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worksalot View Post
I really like late model Cat skid steers and compact track loaders. With that budget get one with a sealed can that has A/C and heat. Hi flow is an option that I would definitely get.

I haven’t looked at JCB skid steers lately, but their side entry cabs and single arm loaders are quite an ingenious design. Haven’t read the reviews on them yet, nor examined them in person yet. They look to be much easier to get in and out of. Dunno about parts and service. I do like and have used JCB telehandlers extensively. They’re great!

Have used New Holland skid steers and track loaders quite a bit. They were cheaper in price than John Deere and Cat. I dont really like their controls or design. But they do get the job done nonetheless. Just not my favorite machines.
The JCB TeleSkids don’t have the weight capacity to handle most mulching heads. The single arm telescoping boom is pretty dang slick, but at the cost of capacity.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:52 PM   #8
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Cat 289 D tracks are a must imo along with cab and AC/Heat. Tooth bucket grapple bucket and we have used a big shredder on the front as well

We have ran them for years and have over 3400 hours on our 2018. We usually buy new and sometimes you can find some pretty good deals on used ones. Just never know how they were taken care of.

Last edited by bloodtrailer28; 12-26-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:11 PM   #9
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I’m running a 2019 Cat 279D and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. I’ve grubbed some mesquites that nobody thought I could. I’ve got several attachments but for the work you’ve described, a good heavy duty grubber, brush/root grapple, heavy duty brush cutter, and a bucket that you can put teeth on. My auger gets a good workout at times, as does my tiller, but I don’t use those pieces as often as the brush attachments. Buy the biggest machine your budget will allow. My 279 was $60k with a bucket only. Another thing, anything above 75HP will require DEF. that’s something to consider.
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:29 PM   #10
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Dont get anyything with foot controls is my advice...
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:09 AM   #11
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If your budget is $100K, get a CAT 299 D2 XHP. It’s the biggest CTL that CAT makes. Mulching heads are not cheap. You can find “off-brands”, but a good name brand head is going to cost you $26K-$31K (or more). My CAT branded head was over $25K. Don’t let DEF be a deciding factor. They use very very little. I’ve been working mine commercially all summer and fall and I’ve filled the DEF tank 4-5 times at the most. CAT has a 2yr/2000 hour “no questions asked” warranty. You break it, they fix it.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtech38 View Post
Kubota svl95-2. Full cab track machine
this is what I bought a year ago today.

I'd buy the same machine again - there's very little that I don't like about it.

The only reason to buy the 75 over the 95 is if you need to trailer it frequently.

Otherwise, the added weight and hp will be much appreciated.


it was about $75K, but I've since added about 15k in various attachments.

Still don't have a mulching head, since I don't yet really have a need for it.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:53 AM   #13
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So the Cat and Kubota are better than Bobcat nowadays? Interesting. Have not shopped them in a long time.


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Old 12-27-2019, 01:27 AM   #14
Dale Moser
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Big, track, AC...


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Old 12-27-2019, 07:22 AM   #15
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Also look at service after the sale no matter what color machine you get
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor73402 View Post
If your budget is $100K, get a CAT 299 D2 XHP. Itís the biggest CTL that CAT makes. Mulching heads are not cheap. You can find ďoff-brandsĒ, but a good name brand head is going to cost you $26K-$31K (or more). My CAT branded head was over $25K. Donít let DEF be a deciding factor. They use very very little. Iíve been working mine commercially all summer and fall and Iíve filled the DEF tank 4-5 times at the most. CAT has a 2yr/2000 hour ďno questions askedĒ warranty. You break it, they fix it.
What do you specifically like about your machine over say the Deere 333G or other machines in its class? Iíd lean towards the Deere just for it lifting capacity personally.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:37 AM   #17
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If your budget is $100K, get a CAT 299 D2 XHP. Itís the biggest CTL that CAT makes. Mulching heads are not cheap. You can find ďoff-brandsĒ, but a good name brand head is going to cost you $26K-$31K (or more). My CAT branded head was over $25K. Donít let DEF be a deciding factor. They use very very little. Iíve been working mine commercially all summer and fall and Iíve filled the DEF tank 4-5 times at the most. CAT has a 2yr/2000 hour ďno questions askedĒ warranty. You break it, they fix it.[/QUOTE]

Im with this one 100% hands down best machine you will buy, can nearly do anything. Controls are great with plenty of power. Technically itís a small dozer.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:38 AM   #18
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Anybody love for the John Deere or Takeuchi? My local dealer sells Kubota and Takeuchi. I took my Kubota tractor in for some work the other day. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.

Is DEF a problem for machines that don't get worked on a regular basis? I've heard it can crystallize and cause problems if it sits for a month or so.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:11 AM   #19
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If you are going to be doing brush control (underbrush, yaupon, cedar etc) and anything up to ~7-8” in diameter, the “super shredder” is all you need. This attachment is high flow. It runs around 10k, 1/3 the price of a mulcher head style. We run one of these with the Kubota 95. Works great for cleaning a place up. If you want to completely clear everything, the drum mulcher head is more likely the way to go.

For road repair the grader/planer attachment works well.

You should be able to get the 95 and these two attachments plus a bucket and forks for around 100k
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:22 AM   #20
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When you decide what it is you want check out Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers/Iron Planet. We sold over 100 skid steers of all types and brands 3 weeks ago in Fort Worth.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
Anybody love for the John Deere or Takeuchi? My local dealer sells Kubota and Takeuchi. I took my Kubota tractor in for some work the other day. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.

Is DEF a problem for machines that don't get worked on a regular basis? I've heard it can crystallize and cause problems if it sits for a month or so.
Kubota is upgrading intercooler hoses on the 95ís. I have had a couple machines need def headers due to quality sensorís failing, other wise no issues with def on them, except for putting diesel in the def tank. And kubota insurance is really good if you finance it.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
Anybody love for the John Deere or Takeuchi? My local dealer sells Kubota and Takeuchi. I took my Kubota tractor in for some work the other day. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.

Is DEF a problem for machines that don't get worked on a regular basis? I've heard it can crystallize and cause problems if it sits for a month or so.
No experience with DEF crystallizing on small machines. But a former boss had lots of frustration with an almost brand new, large Challenger tractor that he purchased for pulling scrapers with. It sat on the dealers lot around Corpus Christi. This was a $300,000 machine. After he paid for delivery and got it back to one of the ranches, it would throw codes over and over. You couldnít get any dirt work done. The dealer tech would come out numerous times trying to fix it. Nothing seemed to solve the problem. Everyone was getting very frustrated. Finally, the tech decided to just replace the DEF hoses. He stayed onsite for most of the day to wait and see if the codes returned. No more problems after that. The DEF had crystallized inside the original hoses.
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:03 AM   #23
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Get one on tracks not tires
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.
LMFAO!

Any good dealer should have "a bunch of skid steers getting worked on".

The better the dealer the bigger the "bunch of skid steers" should be.


To the OP, most any big machine will do the job. I have a Bobcat and a Kubota at the moment. Very good machines.

Look at resale value as well to help determine how machines hold their value. From what I've seen at equipment actions the Cats and ASVs seem to sell cheap.
I have only know one guy with an ASV and he had nothing but issues. he has three Kubotas now.

A guy that does grading for me just got a Cat CTL. It will be interesting to see how it does. He is not a weekend warrior or part timer. He goes full bore all the time. He has 4 or 5 943/953/963 Cats so he likes the brand.
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:08 AM   #25
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Case makes good tractor the 3 year unlimited hour warranty is hard to beat as well
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:24 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
Anybody love for the John Deere or Takeuchi? My local dealer sells Kubota and Takeuchi. I took my Kubota tractor in for some work the other day. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.

Is DEF a problem for machines that don't get worked on a regular basis? I've heard it can crystallize and cause problems if it sits for a month or so.

Dont have any experience with the Deeres personally but my BILs company runs them and he says they are constantly in the shop or getting worked on. He loves their big machinery but hates the skids . Lol
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:41 AM   #27
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I have a 259D CAT and love it. I don’t need high output. I’ve run a 6’ shredder with no issue although a little bigger would have been a little faster. Brush shears and a grapple are must haves.

A mulched is nice but will shake one apart fast and I just can’t justify vs renting the whole thing If needed

Kabota- no personal experience. I have 2 good friends that in the past year bought new ones to do commercial work... both have sold and bought CATS now. They stayed in the shop

Case- drove a slightly older one in west Texas to do some work on a ranch and I wouldn’t own that pile of $&@^. Whoever come up with those control functions need a kick in the junk. Just a cheap built horrible machine compared to cat anyway
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:12 AM   #28
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I work for an excavation company as a PM. We own a handful of skid steers, and rent all different types weekly. I would go with a Kubota, CAT or Bobcat. If you want to run a mulcher, than definitely get a 95 plus hp. Otherwise, you can do a lot with a 75hp.

CAT - Usually cost more, have small cabs. Reliable and easy to get parts.

Kubota - By far the most comfortable luxurious cabs. Have awesome hydraulics. The 95hp is a tank. They turn that motor down. It's used in some of the other skid steers that produce 115hp.

Bobcat - The bobcats pre emissions with the Kubota motors are probably the best skid steers made, but also the most basic cabs.

Last edited by Arrowthreat; 12-27-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:19 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
Anybody love for the John Deere or Takeuchi? My local dealer sells Kubota and Takeuchi. I took my Kubota tractor in for some work the other day. There were a bunch of Kubota skid steers getting worked on.

Is DEF a problem for machines that don't get worked on a regular basis? I've heard it can crystallize and cause problems if it sits for a month or so.


John Deere skid steers do not have a good reputation in the construction world.


The bid Takeuchi uses the Kubota 95hp motor turned up. Lots of electrical problems, and hard to find parts for. Their dealer network is not good. We had one and sold it on auction.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:30 AM   #30
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We use cat 289ís and have very little problems. My favorite is kubota but wouldn't buy a new one until they get the def issues worked out. I was told by mechanic that kubota will have a new program thatís suppose to fix the problem around may 2020.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:31 AM   #31
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We have a JD track with cab. Its fine... use it for farm work. Has alot of bell's and whistles

My advice, a/c cab for sure but keep it simple. Some of the units out there can really do alot of stuff, for large technical construction projects. A lil much for farm and ranch work

My next unit will just have basic controls with tracks and a/c cab. I know alot of the folks commenting might be able to name some machines with those parameters.

Last edited by camoclad; 12-27-2019 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:49 AM   #32
BrianL
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1. Cat
2. Kubota

Get:
Tracks
Cab and air
High Flow
75+ Hp
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:11 PM   #33
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I've had two Bobcat's,and 2 Caterpillar.
The last Cat had rubber tracks.It was a 997 with cab/air..If you're working in rocky areas on the farm,those tracks get chunks ripped out of 'em real fast.The cab heat was handy in the winter time,but I'm in/out of them so much;opening/closing the door is a p.i.t.a.
I'd go with a Cat,perforated no flat tires..Forks,and a grapple bucket to start off with.

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Old 12-27-2019, 05:52 PM   #34
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Donít forget about the door system on the Kubota... smartest thing they could have done if you do more than dirt work or clearing! Your boom can be at any height and you can still exit the cab.


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Old 01-08-2020, 06:51 PM   #35
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Go test drive them
I am not be comfortable in kubota or cat so I got the Deere 333g
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:04 PM   #36
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I use my Deere every day. My plan was buy clean my place up and then sell it. I will never sell it!
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:04 PM   #37
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^^^^^
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:36 PM   #38
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Deere 333G is what we have and it’s been great. Have the mulching head and I don’t want to get off of it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:41 PM   #39
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^^^
Same here
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:46 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohawkman View Post
I use my Deere every day. My plan was buy clean my place up and then sell it. I will never sell it!
I did the same thing. In 2015, I bought a Kubota 90-2 and Bradco ground shark to clean up a place I bought, and though Iím not using the machine much anymore, I donít want to sell it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:51 AM   #41
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Kubota svl95-2. Full cab track machine

This is the machine we run. Got the mulcher with it. Wouldn't take for it. The mulcher makes it easy to clean cedars out from under oak trees and along creeks. We got mulcher, blade and brush grappler all for just under $100k.

Had a New Holland wheeled loader before that with a tree shear.... The machine was ok but the tree shear was way to slow and you ended up with half the tree in the cab with you.

Good luck, they are definitely fun to use and very useful.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:53 AM   #42
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My cousin made an attachment called the Grub N’ Rake. It’s great for brush control. You can google it and see it. He’s located in Brady
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:00 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
1. Cat
2. Kubota

Get:
Tracks
Cab and air
High Flow
75+ Hp
Nailed it
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:05 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
I donít know much about them, but if I were contemplating a purchase I think I would rent several different ones and then make that decision. Everyone that has one is gonna say their choice is the best !
^^^^^^Best advice on this thread!
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:58 AM   #45
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Kubota svl 90-2 here and it's the greatest piece of equipment ever

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Old 01-09-2020, 09:52 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowthreat View Post
John Deere skid steers do not have a good reputation in the construction world.


The bid Takeuchi uses the Kubota 95hp motor turned up. Lots of electrical problems, and hard to find parts for. Their dealer network is not good. We had one and sold it on auction.
Agreed!
My brother has the big Teakeuchi, and I would steer clear.

It works great when it's running, but it broke down on us last summer and we had a heck of a time figuring out the problem. It ended up being electrical, and what I found out is these machines are geared more towards rentals. They have allot of built in safety interlocks to keep someone from tearing them up. When those things start acting up, they are very hard to troubleshoot. Not to mention you cant hardly find any information online such as parts diagrams, schematics. Such a PIA, and little support online.

Just like tractors.....I would recommend a major brand, with a good dealer network in your area.

Also:
Tracks & Joystick controls

As far as attachments go, a grapple is about as handy as it gets. We have an Armstrong Ag grapple. While its not built really well (bad welds), the style of grapple allows you grub out small trees/schrubs, root rake, & back drag to level dirt. You can shape up some property pretty quick with one.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:16 AM   #47
mjhaverkamp
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Southlake, Texas
Hunt In: Cooke, Wilbarger, Foard Counties
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Originally Posted by Traildust View Post
^^^^^^Best advice on this thread!
I don't think you have to rent them, most good companies will demo one for you, all of my equipment is CAT, hard to go wrong there, they are expensive but there is a reason for that.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:49 AM   #48
gfulton
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Kubota svl95-2. Full cab track machine
Yes sir.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:54 AM   #49
JeffJ
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Austin
Hunt In: Somewhere in the hillcountry golden triangle
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Can someone tell me the differences in tracks vs tires? Especially in the hill country.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:11 AM   #50
bloodtrailer28
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oatmeal, TX
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Can someone tell me the differences in tracks vs tires? Especially in the hill country.
Tracks is really the only way to go imo. ALOT more traction. I mean you will likely never get stuck unless you really push it where tires will spin on wet grass. Alot more stable and not near as rough as ride as tires.
The only con to tracks is they are more expensive and rocks will tear them up.
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